On its own, the Chinese character 急 (pronounced as ji) can mean many things – anxiety, urgency, annoyance, or simply a fast tempo. In three sections, the composer attempts to realise the multifaceted meaning of this word into music through the interactions between a solo erhu and a string trio.
The piece begins with the erhu on the main motif of the piece, with the strings punctuating unsteadily. Soon another idea interjects, only to have the initial motif taking over yet again. The middle section is suddenly tranquil, with the solo erhu playing an improvisational passage against a still texture, as though in passive anxiety. Bottled up, the third section bursts into an urgent pace, with the erhu in a frenetic dialogue with the trio. Suddenly a glimmer of hope seems to appear – but before a resolution could be found, the piece springs to an end.
Lim Teik Chuan, Erhu
Tanika Prasood, Violin
Phattarapoj Sawangchaeng, Viola
Pronnapas Santiwarangkul, Cello